About Jordan

Jordan is a relatively-small, semi-arid, almost-landlocked country with a population numbering 9.5 million. Sunni Islam, practiced by around 92% of the population, is the dominant religion in Jordan. It co-exists with an indigenous Christian minority. Jordan is considered to be among the safest of Arab countries in the Middle East, and has avoided long-term terrorism and instability. In the midst of surrounding turmoil, it has been greatly hospitable, accepting refugees from almost all surrounding conflicts as early as 1948, with most notably the estimated 2.1 million Palestinians and the 1.4 million Syrian refugees residing in the country. The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing the Islamic State. While Jordan continues to accept refugees, the recent large influx from Syria placed substantial strain on national resources and infrastructure.

Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development" with an "upper middle income" economy. The Jordanian economy, one of the smallest economies in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based upon a skilled workforce. The country is a major tourist destination, and also attracts medical tourism due to its well developed health sector. Nonetheless, a lack of natural resources, large flow of refugees and regional turmoil have hampered economic growth

Capital Amman
Largest city Amman
Official language and national language Arabic
Area 89,341 km2 (34,495 sq mi)
Population 9,915,942
Currency Dinar (JOD)
Time zone EET (UTC+2) EEST (UTC+3)

The Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling to Jordan

The Do and Don’t listing is something that I have always enjoyed watching on travel specials and am throwing my hand into the style with this feature. While some of these features are often in the style of “you must do this” and “you might as well miss that,” this version will be formatted in a different way and in no way tell you not to do something major, as my misfortune might be someone else’s highlight. Instead, the “Do” will feature a specific place or thing to do in the destination that are great sites and experiences, and the “Don’t” will spotlight things to keep in mind during that activity that are not well known and publicized when planning the trip.

DO’s

1. Do shake hands when meeting people conservative veiled women may not reach out.

2. Do stand up when greeting others.

3. When finished with your cup of Arabic coffee, shake your cup from side to side in order to let your host know that you do not wish to drink more. If more coffee is desired, then simply hold your cup out to the person carrying the coffeepot.

4. Do accept when Arabic coffee is offered to you by your host, as coffee is an important cultural symbol of hospitality, simultaneously extended and accepted as an act of reciprocated goodwill.

5. Do carry plenty of loose change with you, as many Jordanians usually do not carry adequate change.

6. Do tip waiters approximately 10% gratuity in addition to the bill (unless a service charge is included in the total bill).

7. Do round your taxi fare up to the nearest tenth when paying your driver.

8. Do haggle with merchants when shopping.

9. Do dress conservatively when exploring public areas of Jordan.

10. Do be aware that Arabs tend to stand a fraction of the distance closer when conversing than people do in the West.

11. Do feel free to consume alcoholic beverages, but not in outside public areas.

DON’T

1. Don't interrupt, or pass in front of, a Muslim who may be praying in a public place.

2. Don't openly consume food, beverages, or cigarettes in public places during the holy month of Ramadan.

3. Don't dress provocatively when walking outdoors.

4. Don't panic if an acquaintance "pecks" you on the cheeks when greeting you, as Arabs have traditionally kissed each other on both cheeks as a warm gesture of welcome and affection.

5. Don't feel uncomfortable if your host insists on "over feeding" you during a meal, as Arabs traditionally view food as an important symbol of hospitality, generosity, and goodwill – the more the better!

6. Don't feel that you are required to tip your taxi driver, as tipping in such a scenario is not necessary, but is certainly appreciated.

Best Time to visit

For cooler temperatures in the high teens, the best time to visit Jordan is March-May. Amman reaches a comfortable 32°C between June and September, while nights can drop below freezing from Decemberto February. The beaches of Aqaba and the salty Dead Sea touch 40°C in July.

Visa

Below is the link for applying Jordan Visa.
http://jordanembassyus.org/page/consulate-forms

Currency

The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, or “JD”, which is divided into one hundred piasters or one thousand fils. The dinar is pegged to the dollar. The current exchange rate is JD 71 per 100 US$. Although US$ are widely accepted, it is prudent to carry Jordanian dinars while you travel through Jordan.

Voltage

Special information on the Jordan: Jordan has 220 volt electricity, meaning unless your computer or appliance is dual voltage or designed for 220 volts, you will need a converter or transformer. The cycles (Hz) are 50 per second. Electricity. Jordan takes a mix-and-match approach to electrical sockets. European round two- and three-pin plugs along with British square three-pin plugs are all used across the country, with frequency seemingly determined only by what the electrician had to hand during installation.

Demographics

The latest census, taken in 2015, showed the population numbered some 9.5 million. 2.9 million (30%) were non-citizens, a figure including refugees and illegal immigrants.[13] There were 1,977,534 households in Jordan in 2015, with an average of 4.8 persons per household (compared to 6.7 persons per household for the census of 1979).[13] The vast majority of Jordanians are Arabs, accounting for 98% of the population. The rest is attributed to Circassians, Chechens and Armenians.[87] As the population has increased, it has become more settled and urban. In 1922 almost half the population (around 103,000) were nomadic, whereas nomads made up only 6% of the population in 2015. The population in Amman, 65,754 in 1946, has grown to over 4 million in 2015

Largest cities or towns

1. Amman 2. Zarqa
3. Irbid 4. Russeifa
5. Al Quwaysimah 6. Wadi as-Ser
7. Tilā' al-'Alī 8. Ajloun
9. Aqaba 10. Khuraybat as-Sūq

Languages

The official language is Modern Standard Arabic, a literary language taught in the schools. Most Jordanians natively speak one of the non-standard Arabic dialects known as Jordanian Arabic. Jordanian Sign Language is the language of the deaf community. English, though without official status, is widely spoken throughout the country and is the de facto language of commerce and banking, as well as a co-official status in the education sector; almost all university-level classes are held in English and almost all public schools teach English along with Standard Arabic. Chechen, Circassian, Armenian, Tagalog, and Russian are popular among their communities. French is offered as an elective in many schools, mainly in the private sector. German is an increasingly popular language; it has been introduced at a larger scale since the establishment of the German-Jordanian University in 2005


Religion

• Sunni Muslim 92%
• Shia or Sufi 1%
• Christians 6%



Culture

Many institutions in Jordan aim to increase cultural awareness of Jordanian Art and to represent Jordan's artistic movements in fields such as paintings, sculpture, graffiti and photography. The art scene has been developing in the past few years and Jordan has been a haven for artists from surrounding countries. In January 2016, for the first time ever, a Jordanian film called Theeb was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

The largest museum in Jordan is The Jordan Museum. It contains much of the valuable archaeological findings in the country, including some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Neolithic limestone statues of 'Ain Ghazal and a copy of the Mesha Stele. Most museums in Jordan are located in Amman including The Children's Museum Jordan, The Martyr's Memorial and Museum and the Royal Automobile Museum. Museums outside Amman include the Aqaba Archaeological Museum. The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts is a major contemporary art museum located in Amman.

Music in Jordan is now developing with a lot of new bands and artists, who are now popular in the Middle East. Artists such as Omar Al-Abdallat, Toni Qattan, Diana Karazon and Hani Metwasi have increased the popularity of Jordanian music. The Jerash Festival is an annual music event that features popular Arab singers. Pianist and composer Zade Dirani has gained wide international popularity. There is also an increasing growth of alternative Arabic rock bands, who are dominating the scene in the Arab World, including: El Morabba3, Autostrad, JadaL, Akher Zapheer and Aziz Maraka

Festivals

Jordan holidays include a variety of festivals throughout the year, some religious like Muharram, which celebrates the start of the Islamic New Year, but most are an affair of culture. The Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival and the Jerash Festival are all held to remember the different people and traditions which make up this interesting and varied country. Muharram - Muharram is a cause for great celebration across many towns in Jordan as it marks of the beginning of the Islamic New Year in January. This happens on a different day each year according to the cycles of the moon. Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival - The northern town of Aqaba hosts a relatively large festival in February which celebrates the unique culture of the Bedouin people. Taking the form mainly of a crafts fair, the Bedouins and other minority groups bring their handicrafts to the seaside town for sale, showcasing their unique talents and keeping these traditions alive. Azraq Festival - This festival, which also takes place in February, is native to the city of Azraq and its sole purpose is to present the town’s wonderful art, culture and crafts. A complete celebration with music, dancing and food in the town’s streets, it is one of the smaller festivals in Jordan, but by no means insignificant. Amman International Theatre Festival - Hosted by an independent theatre company in March every year, the Amman International Theatre Festival brings together some of the rawest and freshest talent from around Jordan. Taking on somewhat of a competitive format, each performer has the chance to showcase their skills in English or Arabic. Jerash Festival - Held every in July in the historical city of Jerash, this festival is one of the largest cultural celebrations in Jordan. Thousands descend to participate in special art and performances. Visitors will find music, dance, literature, food, handicrafts and general merriment among the festival goers. There are also artist’s workshops and seminars which are open for everyone to attend. Jordan Rally - Taking place in October, the Jordan Rally is a motorcar race which brings together those with the need for speed from every corner of the globe. For a few thrilling days, the festival turns Jordan’s golden dunes into a race track and a large international crowd can be seen getting their adrenaline fill.

Climate

The climate in Jordan varies greatly. Generally, the further inland from the Mediterranean, greater contrasts in temperature occur and the less rainfall there is. The country's average elevation is 812 m (2,664 ft) (SL). The highlands above the Jordan Valley, mountains of the Dead Sea and Wadi Araba and as far south as Ras Al-Naqab are dominated by a Mediterranean climate, while the eastern and northeastern areas of the country are arid desert. Although the desert parts of the kingdom reach high temperatures, the heat is usually moderated by low humidity and a daytime breeze, while the nights are cool.

Summers, lasting from May to September, are hot and dry, with temperatures averaging around 32 °C (90 °F) and sometimes exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) between July and August. The winter, lasting from November to March, is relatively cool, with temperatures averaging around 13 °C (55 °F). Winter also sees frequent showers and occasional snowfall in some western elevated areas..

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